Ksenia Igorivna Shadurska, also known as Shadu, was born in Kamianka, Ukraine, on May 5, 1991. She is a Ukrainian singer, songwriter, director and blogger. Besides her successful singing career, she shoots Tik Tok fashion videos that help women dress stylishly and that too on a tight budget.
Shadu is all about fashion, shopping, and style statements.
wknd. spoke with Shadu about her role in the entertainment and fashion industry amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the ongoing conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and rendered millions homeless.
Shadu says she is “deeply disturbed by the mindless war and violence”. She has been performing at charity concerts to raise funds for Ukraine’s armed forces, as she hopes and prays for the over six-month-long conflict to come to an end soon.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
You’ve turned a new leaf overnight and started teaching girls how to dress stylishly. How did this idea come about and what was the inspiration behind it?
I’ve always been a big fan of fashion — of all things beautiful and style. But there were times when I was broke and couldn’t indulge in fashion. However, when my financial situation improved, unfortunately, I had nobody to advise me about how I could amp up my style quotient.
I’ve always been a firm believer that you can dress yourself in mass market clothes, and still look like a million bucks. My videos underscore styling with minimum spend. I’ve also been producing shopping vlogs, where I recommend what’s worth buying this season, and what’s better not to pay attention to — irrespective of whether it’s trendy or not.
You are a singer and a blogger. What’s your first love?
Music will always come first. Blogging comes next. However, I’ve been such a sucker for blogging and fashion that it has become my job. I’ve always dreamt of dressing beautifully. I’d like to look fashionable and dress like Hollywood stars. I get a kick in shooting fashion videos.
You aren’t tall and you had a tough time finding clothes that fit right. How did you overcome the challenges?
People with short stature always have had their fair share of issues. Brands make clothes for people with average heights — 170 centimetres. I feel it’s a huge mistake. Few people have ideal parameters. Not all people are thin, not all are tall. Most women have non-model measurements. I often get messages from my clients — they want to buy a dress, but it might be too long, or by contrast, very short. I believe in the future, brands should introduce a height grid in addition to that of size. It will make it easier for women with non-model measurements to dress beautifully.
As for my height, I always try to skillfully swim between flaws, to highlight the advantages of my figure. Moreover, I don’t think short height is a disadvantage. I love my height and I love being a little girl even at 31. I feel comfortable being this tall. Besides, when I want to look taller, I wear my favourite Versace heels.
Has a short stature ever been a problem for you? Do you feel any discomfort?
As a child, I just hated my height! Firstly, I always had to answer a lot of questions: why are all the children so much taller than me? I didn’t like that I was different. I was humiliated, some classmates used to call me names for my small stature. Sometimes, children can be too cruel. I dreamt of growing up and becoming tall. The miracle has not happened, but what happened is that I have changed my attitude to who I am and how I look. I have fully accepted myself and my height. Everything I can change and improve — I change and improve.
How much time does it take to make fashion videos? And what’s the feedback from your fans?
Yes, shooting videos, at times, takes a lot of time. A big idea is central to a video. Production, too, holds the key, such as adding special effects and graphics. It takes time to write the script. However, it’s a worthwhile process because I always get amazing feedback from my admirers.
Which is your favourite video and why?
My favourite video is Dressing up like Karl Lagerfeld. In this video, I tell you how you can create an image of maestro Lagerfeld from things you bought at a shopping mall. I adore Lagerfeld’s style. I’m also a huge fan of Lagerfeld as a creator and a designer. This video is a happy blend of fashion and humour.
Do you follow fashion trends or create your own style statements?
It depends on the mood and inspiration. I don’t think all the trends dictated by fashion houses are successful. If there is a trend that I don’t like, I’d never use it. Rather, I wouldn’t hesitate to speak out that it’s ugly, not fashionable, and even gross. Sometimes, I’d opt for an unconventional look. My clients like them and they would send me their pictures in that style.
How about launching your own fashion label?
That’s a common question. I’ve been working with several Ukrainian designers over the years. However, I never planned to launch my own label. Now that fashion and style have become a permanent fixture in my life, as thousands of my admirers are thanking me for helping them look stylish without spending a lot of money, I think time is ripe to take the plunge. I promise to make my label affordable and it will contain both size and height charts.